ABOVE: Mexico Taxi – is a new program funded by the Mexico Tourism Board that shows hidden camera interviews of Americans returning from their vacations in Mexico.
Is it safe to travel to Mexico? The short answer is: yes. Although certain parts of the country have seen a rise in drug-related violence in the last few years and the gruesome news reports have done little to help the country’s image in the minds of tourists, the fact is that most parts of Mexico are still safe to travel to.
As with any foreign country you go to, it is important to be informed and to take appropriate safety precautions. Staying up to date with U.S. State Department travel advisories, avoiding border towns, and staying in tourist areas will help make your trip to Mexico a safe one.
With its breathtaking beaches, historical landmarks, and rich culture, it’s no wonder that so many people have an interest in visiting Mexico. The country’s beauty and diversity of attractions has made it a consistent draw for resort-goers, outdoor-adventurers, and culture-seekers alike, and has helped cement it as one of the top international tourist destinations.
Mexico deserves its place on vacationer wish lists, and despite some troubled areas, travelers need not avoid the country as a whole. By making informed decisions, taking simple precautions, and exercising common sense, travelers can continue to take advantage of all that Mexico has to offer.
As long as you stay as far away from the Mexican/American border as possible, traveling to Mexico is safe. Most of the violence that goes on in Mexico occurs in border cities like Tijuana and Juarez because drug dealers, in both countries, are fighting for control of the border. In certain areas, like Yucatan, Mexico, homicide rate are half that of the United States.
It is also uncertain if the violence as reported by the media is as accurate as they say it is since the reported rate of violence in Mexico can sometimes be a combination of statistics that lump together safe zones with dangerous ones. All, in all, visitors shouldn’t worry because tourist areas continue to enjoy a reputation as the safest places in the country. The key to safe travel is to prepare for the adventure ahead.
Mexico has some of the most amazing natural environments where visitors can enjoy hiking, sea kayaking and even sea lion swimming. It is also exciting to know that certain parts of Mexico have just recently been documented and made accessible for travelers to explore. One example is Copper Canyon, a remarkable landscape that is at least seven times the size and 1,462 feet deeper than Arizona’s Grand Canyon.
Certain locations like Yucatan or the quaint village of El Fuerte or Creel are safe and wonderful places to travel to and relax or adventure. The Amigo Trails Travel Group is based out of Mexico and employ workers who live in the area. They too live inside the Copper Canyon itself with offices in both Sinaloa and Chihuahua states. So they know the history, geography, flora and everything you need to know about the location as well as how safe it really is on a day to day basis.
One should always take precautions by researching and planning ahead before diving into the culture of another country. Here are some steps to take before venturing to your destination while traveling anywhere in the world:
Avoid becoming a target of crime wherever you travel in the world:
Preparation is the key to achieving a solid state of mind that will greatly increase your chances for experiencing a wonderful vacation.
US State Department Recognizes Safety of La Paz and South Baja in Mexico – ‘For the First Time, New Travel Notices for Mexico Specifically Separate La Paz, Confirming It as One of the Safest Cities in North America’. How many other destinations in Mexico have been labeled as unsafe over the years I wonder…
‘Put your fears aside: Mexico’s Copper Canyon is safe – and gorgeous‘ says Associated Press, Lisa Adams.
Latest ‘Traveler Safety Zone Map‘ in Mexico as published by Travel Weekly. Please notice that the Copper Canyon in southwestern Chihuahua State (near Sinaloa State) is NOT a troubled zone.
Brutally honest perspective from a Canadian living in Mexico, Douglas Anthony Cooper, with some great statistics to back it up. Have a look! How Not to get Beheaded in Mexico.
Article by San Francisco Chronicle’s Christine Delsol: ‘Mexico is Safer than Headlines Indicate‘.
Wonderful continuing blog about what really goes on in Mexico and how the American media has blown so much out of proportion. There are articles, reports, statistics and videos here that go back for years. What is really going on in Mexico?
Retirement & Second Homes in Mexico 2011…A “half full or half empty” market? Read about the milliions of Americans living in Mexico and why they choose to live here.
View comments from Peter Greenburg, one of the most trusted and influential figures in international travel in this article. Peter Greenburg comments on the Safety of Travel in Mexico.
Arnie Weissman from Travel Weekly travels with the President of Mexico through the country to see how safe it really is. Read his article.
Article from The Catalist ‘Violent Deaths in Mexico – Everything is NOT as it seems’ – great article about how safe Mexico really is, especially when comparing it to crime in US cities. Interesting read and highly enlightening for those frightened by the over dramatized and misleading news broadcasts in the USA. Read this article.
I Survived a Week in Mexico: a much needed perspective balancing article about a Canadian visitor to Mexico. Read her article.
What You Should REALLY Worry About When Traveling To Mexico: lovely article. Have a look!
Article from CNN: Mexico tourism official says vacation spots in Mexico are far removed from violence. See the full story.
Mexico’s Violence Not as Widespread says USA Today: a closer look at the latest official statistics indicates that much of Mexico has modest murder rates. See the full story.
Is Cancun Safe for Visitors? See the full USA Today story by Kitty Bean Yancy
How Safe is it to Travel to Mexico? It is just as safe as anywhere else if you follow common sense rules that should always apply wherever you travel. Read this article by Carol Pucci from the Seattle Times.
Is it Safe to Visit Mexico? Article by Aysha Griffin. Read it here.
Why I’m not afraid of Mexico by Candice. Check it out.
Mexico is Safe - a blog by We Are One Travel with some nice statistical charts in it.
Mexico Today - U.S.-Mexico Tourist and Travel Groups Urge Texas Department of Public Safety to Alter Tone of Misleading Mexico Travel Alerts. Read the article here.
Shedding New Light on Travelling to Mexico – An CNN article written by Lonely Planet travel editor Robert Reid combats concerns that travelling to Mexico is unsafe.
Travel news you can use from America’s Travel Expert – Peter Greenburg writes an eye opening article that shows why it is safe to travel to Mexico. ‘Is It Safe To Travel To Mexico Now?’
No one thinks twice about visiting our nation’s capital, and the same should go for Mexico’s capital. In 2008, Mexico City had a homicide rate of nine for every 100,000 people, while Washington D.C. had a rate of more than 30 per 100,000 — over three times higher. Visitors to Mexico City should exercise the same precautions taken in any of the world’s big cities; sticking to busy, central areas and remaining aware of one’s surroundings.
Total crimes by country statistics – Shows world-wide total crime placement for all countries. Note that Mexico is at number 12 while the USA is at number 1.
Total crimes per capita statistics – Mexico ranks at 39 while the USA is at number 8.
Is Mexico Safer than the USA? – Statistics and views on Mexico safety versus that of the USA by an Insurance company.
Mexico violence not widespread – United Nations Office on Crime presents a report about the murder rate in many countries. Mexico is at 14% with Jamaica, Honduras, Trinidad and Belize at up to 60% and even Russia with a murder rate slightly higher than Mexico. Be sure to read the whole article and scroll to the bottom to see the chart.
Safety in Mexico – a link to our own blog that features several links and a lot of information about how safe Mexico is from several different surveys and newspaper articles.
More on the Security of Mexico – an interesting and mind opening read about Mexico’s safety.
Travel Weekly article showing the warning areas of Mexico on a map. Mexico Travel Warning Mapped
Please note that the warnings are for specific areas and should not be taken to mean that the entire country should be avoided. Try to keep in mind that you do not enter certain areas of your own city in your own hometown as they are viewed as unsafe, wherever you come from. One should remember that these warnings are very specific and should not be generalized to mean the whole city, whole state or whole country. There is much of Mexico that is completely unaffected by the travel warnings.
A personal note from Yolonda, the owner of We Are One Travel and Amigo Trails:
There are over 1 million Americans living in Mexico today. I am one of them and have been living in this lovely country for over 12 years now, full time. I don’t live in areas that are colonized by Americans or foreigners or that are considered high traffic touristy areas, but rather in small, rural towns inside the Copper Canyon where English is not even spoken except in a few of the larger hotels. My son (10 years old) goes to school daily, plays with friends on the streets and we live rather dull but serene lives here. We are NOT afraid to walk on the street, shop in the stores or drive our cars. Life just goes on, as it does for any of you who are reading this in your own home town. I would venture to say that I see less crime here than I do when I am in the USA as a rule.
I ask that you take what you are seeing on the news in the USA with a grain, no a tablespoon, of salt as it is highly incorrect and over dramatized. Don’t let fear paralize you into believing what you are hearing is true. You are not in direct danger here, anymore than you would be where you live, and you will have a lovely time visiting this beautiful country. I am proud to be able to show it to you and hope that this page has been helpful in dispelling some of the misinformation that is circulating.